How To Feel Less Alone

It’s completely normal to feel lonely sometimes in life. It’s also ok to feel the sadness that accompanies this feeling, too.

And as isolated and disconnected as we might feel, the experience of loneliness doesn’t mean we have to be cut off from the world. There are ways to feel less alone.

How To Feel Less Alone

Why Do We Feel Lonely?

Everyone experiences loneliness at some time in their life. It could come after a divorce or a break-up, after moving to a new area, or just when we’ve spent too much time on our own.

Some other causes may include getting older, dealing with illness, or, as with the recent pandemic, social restrictions.

Some people can even feel lonely in a crowded room or in a relationship, especially if they recognize within themselves an inability to connect with others on a deeper, more intimate level. It can lead to other negative feelings around self-doubt and self-worth.

And when we feel lonely, a common tendency is to escape the feeling and look for an external distraction. It could be something like taking out your phone in a public place to appear busy. Or maybe you cancel social plans because you’re exhausted, only to stay home and just mindlessly scroll online for hours.

Many people can feel unmotivated and depressed, and the emotional pain can make them retreat, not wanting to engage socially or online. And when we’re in a lonely place, this withdrawal can worsen the sense of isolation, and we can feel stuck.

Focus Inward to Feel Less Lonely

We can find a greater sense of ease with the situation and circumstance we’re in by learning to look inward and investigate feelings of loneliness.

Part of the battle of how to deal with loneliness is to understand what it means to feel lonely and how that differs from being alone.

Sitting with ourselves at such times isn’t easy and it might even feel intolerable. But the key to dealing with loneliness is to find a skillful way to work with it. When we investigate it, examine it, and understand how it begins, the resulting awareness can help us find a greater sense of ease with the emotion itself.

In some ways, the antidote to loneliness is to be more present. Not caught up in the story of loneliness, but rather resting in the present moment.

When we use mindfulness exercises such as meditation or deep breathing to connect with the present moment, we begin to uncover the origin of the way we feel and discover more about ourselves. As we stay in the present, rather than allowing the mind to fuel the story around loneliness, we begin to discover that we are not alone. We begin to discover the connection we have to the lives of others and to the world itself.

It’s important to note the difference between aloneness and loneliness. While aloneness helps us cultivate presence, self-reflection and even creativity, loneliness has potential adverse consequences for health.

Through relaxation techniques like a daily meditation practice, or with exercise and structured alone time for productivity, you can make your alone time a beneficial experience.

As you practice sitting with yourself, you’ll gradually begin to free the mind, learn self-compassion, better understand what it means to be independent, and keep the darker thoughts around loneliness at bay.

Final Thoughts

Reaching out to others and cultivating new or existing relationships can obviously help us feel less lonely. This has been meant as a simple guide to get to the root of our emotions and to try and think about things in a more logical way.

We can only be lonely as individuals if we think about ourselves as being separate from others and from the world around us.

When those thoughts and ideas dissipate, then loneliness itself can be harder to even exist as a concept.

Sources and Further Reading:

How to Cope with Loneliness

The Importance of Alone Time

Can I Enjoy Being Single?

The Value Of Friendship

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